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2017 NWSL College Draft Preview: Houston Dash

JJ Duke takes a look at what the Houston Dash might (and should) do in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft.

Draft Picks

15, 33

Offseason Moves


  • Bruna Benites (signing; last club: Avaldsnes in Norway)
  • Janine Van Wyk (signing; last club: JvW F.C. in South Africa)


  • Allysha Chapman (traded to Boston Breakers)
  • Ellie Brush (waived)
  • Haley Carter (retired)

Possible Draft Day Activity Level

The Dash will be busy enough using their two picks and that’s about it. The moves they made prior to the draft had their purposes but don’t look for many other pieces moving until after the draft.

What the Dash Need

The confusing thing with the Dash last year was their lack of consistency in scoring. After starting off the season with a 3-1 drubbing of the Chicago Red Stars that left people thinking they would be the force we all believed they could be, they went nine more games before scoring more than two goals. During that stretch, the Dash scored more than one goal just once and lost six straight matches with a scoreline of 1-0. For a team with the caliber of players the Dash have, that should never have happened. However, Janine Beckie’s solid goal-scoring rate from college and international level never translated to the pro ranks and Rachel Daly started off hot but never found the same form after May. Carli Lloyd was good in spurts but Chioma Ubogagu never got going. If not for the Kealia Ohai going off in the second half of the season and tying for top goal-scoring honors in the league, the Dash would have slid to the bottom of the table easily.

But it’s the back line that needs work. Adding Bruna Benites and Janine Van Wyk are nice moves, but time will only tell what type of impact they will make in the NWSL. And when two key defenders in Allysha Chapman and Ellie Brush depart, Head Coach Randy Waldrum will have to be very wise as he works with just two picks to get both depth and a possible starter

Potential Targets

With the depth in strikers for this year’s draft, there is still a chance that a really good defender could fall to No. 15. Kirsten Crowley has still yet to commit to the NWSL, but if she does, this would be a good pick for the Dash. She was an All-American at Florida State and really shined during ACC play this season. Plus, she brings a winning mentality to wherever she goes after winning four straight ACC Tournament titles and one National Championship along with two other College Cup appearances.

If Crowley doesn’t declare for the draft, both Miranda Freeman of Southern California and Rashida Beal of Minnesota are All-Americans in defense and should be available at the 15 spot.